(February 18, 2014) As a part of the revised Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) announced by Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, on December 2, 2013, his ministry released a myriad of other information perhaps meant to either confuse or dazzle the reader.
The most impressive is a 31-page document with lots of charts entitled, “2013 LTEP Consolidated Figures and Data Tables”. If you are looking for data this one has it going back to 1990 and as far forward as 2032, covering a 42-year span. The ministry was obviously out to impress and the index lists 28 “Figures” in the document! A closer look, however, reveals that it carries mixed messages that (in this writer’s opinion) are all over the map!
As an example, it sticks to the concept of “Conservation” as a generation source in keeping with the original LTEP issued by Brad Duguid when he sat in the Energy chair in 2010. I, and perhaps others, may still have a conceptual problem about “conservation” generated electricity being able to turn the light on when you flick the switch but perhaps we just don’t understand the concept! It also has a figure depicting a “green button” and another labeled, “How Much is a Kilowatt hour?”
While the aforementioned are amusing to those who have a basic knowledge of how the electricity system works, some of the other figures prove revealing. Those are the ones projecting electricity production in the future and the forecast of its cost to ratepayers. Despite the fact that the data is organized in a manner that is not contiguous; sprinkled in, is historical information and it is here where you can get facts on how the Liberals have managed the system for the almost 11 years they have been in power. It also reveals why Ontario has seen “math” test results showing continued deterioration in our school system. The following easily demonstrates the latter.
We recall how our Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli stated on December 2, 2013, that Ontarians faced an increase in electricity prices of 33% over the next three years as he unveiled the revised LTEP. At the same time he spoke to how much less this was than the original 2010 LTEP. This revised LTEP was followed up with several other “data files” that were, presumably, meant to substantiate his premise and soothing words. Examining the one referenced above proves his undoing as his minions in the ministry proceeded to show with dubious math skills that his words were way off base.
To wit: “Figure 19” in the referenced document (first paragraph above), titled “Ontario’s Forecast Electricity Production” projects the production of 154.8 terawatts (TWh) in 2016 versus actual production of 158.5 TWh in 2013. In the same document, “Figure 6,” “Total Cost of Electricity Service Forecast,” shows “Total Cost of Service ($2012 Billions)” with a value of $17.6 billion for 2013, meaning an “all in” kilowatt (kWh) cost of 11.1 cents; for 2016 the cost jumps to $19.8 billion for an “all in” kWh cost of 12.7 cents. If you do the “math” the difference between the cost of a kWh in 2013 and 2016 will jump by 1.6 cents per kWh which is a 14.4% increase over those three years and less than half of the “Chiarelli” forecast! So who is right on that one?
Now if one ventures further into future projections, say to 2025; “Figure 19” according to ministry officials; our production will be 158.8 TWh and the “all in” cost (Figure 6) will be $19.8 billion producing a cost of 12.5 cents per kWh or .2 cents less than the 2016 projection. So why didn’t Minister Chiarelli forecast a decline in energy prices instead of the 2.8% annual increase he forecast over the next 20 years? In simple terms (without compounding) the 2.8% annual increase would produce a price increase of 30.8% (to 2025) rather than the 12.6% that the “Data Tables” project.
Carrying on with the “math” problems evident in the ministry, it is time to examine the 46% listed as renewables wherein “Figure 16” states “Renewables will grow to 46% of Ontario’s generating capability by 2025” and will consist of: 15% Wind, 2% Bioenergy, 8% Solar, 5% Demand Response and 6% Planned Flexibility. If one quickly adds those percentages up (with or without an adding machine), you will perceive that they actually total 36%. Sure gives one a lot of confidence in the planning that went into this revised LTEP when they are out by 10% of installed capacity for a generating sector!
There are many other examples of the obvious “math” problems in the “Data Tables” set produced by the Ministry of Energy but, for now, let’s refer to them simply as “Chiarelli Math” and not try to figure out where the mistakes are!
“Achieving Balance” apparently has absolutely nothing to do with basic “math”! If the current employees of energy ministry officials ever issue a document that actually balances we should be truly shocked!
Parker Gallant is a retired bank executive and a former director of Energy Probe Research Foundation. As with all independent bloggers on this site, Parker’s views do not necessarily reflect those of Energy Probe.